Section: Region

Anthony Mangnall needs to correct the record

Anthea Simmons

Totnes MP Anthony Mangnall, who received a £5,000 donation towards his campaign office in 2020 from Dartmoor landowner Alexander Darwall, stood up in the house today to ask that: ‘leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish proposals for a scheme to incentivise owners of land within […]

The very first Somerscience Festival! Save the day: Monday May 1 2023

Chris Ambrose

Colleen Bower has a mission. With her background in education, she is concerned that young people in South Somerset – a largely rural population – are missing out on experience of, and access to, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM subjects). Over time, she has got together with local councillors and many organisations and businesses […]

Dartmoor’s blanket bogs

Miles King

Reading Tony Whitehead’s piece in West Country Voices (‘Failing nature on Dartmoor‘ ) exploring some of the realities behind the outpouring of protest from the farming industry and lurid claims that Natural England has a secret (and no doubt cunning) plan to “rewild” Dartmoor, has enthused me sufficiently to write a blog. I don’t intend […]

Take it away

Plastic Free Axminster -

Close your eyes and picture the inside of the Royal Albert Hall … or look at a photo! It’s massive, isn’t it? In fact, 66m long, 56m wide and 41m high. Imagine it full to the ‘brim’ with single-use coffee cups. That is the total amount of annual coffee cup waste in the UK! A […]

Poole Harbour oil spillage: unacceptable environmental damage

Vicki Elcoate

News broke on 26 March 2023 of ‘reservoir fluid,’ containing oil, leaking into an environmentally sensitive area for wildlife. The devastating impacts of the oil spill from the Wytch Farm site in Poole Harbour are unacceptable in a climate and ecological emergency – and heart-breaking for the many organisations and individuals involved in conservation work […]

“I hate what Brexit’s done to this country!”

Anna Andrews

“I hate what Brexit’s done to this country”, one woman said, “I just hate it.” I looked encouragingly at her and she went on, “Britain’s just going down the pan, isn’t it?” It seemed that, once started, she couldn’t stop and, knowing she would get a sympathetic hearing, she told me about how her daughter […]

Conor Burns and the Poole Harbour oil spill

The Highcliffe Guy

Originally tweeted by thehighcliffeguy (@AdamHighcliffe) on 29/03/2023. In 2015, Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns campaigned against the Navitus wind farm proposal, along with local Conservative peers. This proposed a wind farm 10km off the Dorset coast. He claimed it would “harm tourism”. It was then revealed that Conor Burns was also a consultant for Trant […]

“From the Tamar to the sea, Cornwall will be fascist-free!”

Tom Scott

Anti-fascists, including large numbers of local people, gathered outside a hotel in Newquay this morning to stand up to a far-right campaign that’s stirring up fear and hatred of asylum-seekers. Tom Scott reports from the scene. It was a lovely, fresh spring morning in Cornwall today, more than making up the hour of lost sleep […]

26 Places in Cornwall / 26 Tyller yn Kernow

Tom Scott

A new book and touring exhibition takes visitors on a unique A–Z journey through Cornish places and their richly resonant names, in poetry and photography. Tom Scott writes about his involvement and the project’s objectives. Angarrack, Feock, Halliggye Fogou, Nancekuke, Ponsanooth, Zennor… What secrets of language, history and legend can Cornwall’s place names unlock? I’ve […]

West Country radical? : a celebration of Paul Robeson in Devon

Helen Beetham

Most of us know the West Country as home of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and their struggle for trade union rights. It is less well known that Dartington Hall in Devon is where the Labour Party manifesto Let Us Face the Future was written. This set the direction for the 1945 Labour government, founding the NHS […]

A small step for Shepton, but a step change for active travel

Mick Fletcher

On a cold March morning, a small crowd gathered in Shepton Mallet to mark the opening of a very short section of cyclepath. To an outside observer it will have seemed a pleasant but unremarkable event – a welcome addition to local infrastructure, but not much more. In fact, it could prove quite significant. A […]

The campaign to save the 136 mature trees on Plymouth’s Armada Way UPDATE: a scene of devastation

Ali White Founder, STRAW Plymouth

The trees planted to symbolise Plymouth’s ‘rebirth’ after the devastation of WWII have been torn up, chopped down and destroyed overnight. Luke Pollard MP: Overnight Plymouth’s Conservative council chopped down nearly 100 trees in the city centre. It’s a scene of environmental devastation and utter council vandalism. I’m appalled at the actions of the Tory […]

The Teignbridge ‘Newton Abbot says no’ scandal

Stuart Reynolds

Here’s the story so far in the Teignbridge – “Newton Abbot Says No” scandal. It’s really quite a shocker! Basically a “complaint” was made about the conduct of two councillors on Teignbridge Council. The councillors represented the South Devon Alliance. I’ve never met any of this group, but basically they were born out of the […]

A state of denial

Richard Paul-Jones

As the Conservatives continue their race to the bottom it is clear that they are in denial. They deny that Brexit was an act of stupidity and wanton self-harm. They deny that Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng caused a disaster. They will deny that ‘Levelling Up’ has died in a ditch. And they will deny […]

Important corrections to Anne Marie Morris’s ‘newsletter’

Anthea Simmons

Newton Abbot MP, Anne Marie Morris, has released her weekly column. It was so packed with untruths and gaslighting statements that it just had to be unpicked. “The UK has been an independent nation for three years this January”. Hmm. It was already an independent nation, actually. Think the word you are looking for, Anne […]

Greenwashing on the Somerset Levels? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to you in order to highlight what I perceive to be a greenwashing issue regarding the Somerset Levels. I was under the impression that following the Dutch N court case, the Somerset levels were protected from any additional phosphate discharge due to either their unfavourable condition or that they are […]

Funding for hedges!

Editor-in-chief

Funding to pilot a project involving the Lyme area community in the creation of the Great Big Dorset Hedge has been approved by Lyme Regis Town Council. Julie Leah from Charmouth, who is one of the coordinators of the project on behalf of Dorset Climate Action Network, said: ‘We really appreciate the Town Council’s support […]

Countdown to chaos: the incredible rise and fall of Drew Mellor

James Bean

A controversial and chaotic political reign ended last week, as Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (BCP) leader Drew Mellor resigned after two years in the hotseat. His leadership was littered with scandal and leaves the fledgling council on the verge of bankruptcy, less than four years after its formation. His reversal comes just 80 days before […]

Is it a job-seekers’ market? Bournemouth Jobs Fair

Phil Lucas

Brexit has been blamed for creating a shortfall in workers across many sectors, so it should be a good time to be looking for work, or to boost over-stretched pay-packets. The Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth hosted a ‘jobs fair’ at the start of February, giving employers a chance to showcase opportunities to interest potential new […]

A quiet burial for Tory failure in Somerset

Mick Fletcher

Somerset’s politicians can’t sneak anything past Mick Fletcher when it comes to further and adult education… Tucked away at chapter 12, in a document only of interest to specialists in further education, is evidence of another quiet failure of Tory dogma. In a routine administrative update from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) two […]

Somerset local councillor offers FREE air monitors to local businesses

Editor-in-chief

A Somerset County Councillor is on a clean air mission. “I’m keen to learn the lessons of the pandemic” says Councillor Oliver Patrick, “and one of those lessons is that airborne diseases like Covid spread easily between people indoors where ventilation is poor.” Oliver’s clean air campaign began in September when he started raising money […]